Beruwala - Photos by Sri Lanka Travel Agency, Sri Lanka, Habarana

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Beruwala is a town in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. The name Beruwala is derived from the Sinhalese word for the place where the sail is lowered. It marks the spot for the first Muslim settlement on the island, established by Arab traders around the 8th century AD. A large population of Sri Lankan Moors, many of them gem merchants, still live in the town—particularly in the "China Fort". Msjid-ul-Abrar, a landmark of Beruwala and Sri Lanka's oldest mosque, was built by Arab traders on a rocky peninsula overlooking the town.Beruwala is also home to Al-Fasiyatul Nasriya Muslim Balika Maha Vidyalaya, which is the first and oldest girls school in Sri Lanka. It was damaged by the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.